“The cemeteries are full of indispensable people.”
Hi everybody. Didja miss me? Didja? Um, no, not really.
I’m asking because some of you may have noticed that a couple weeks ago I announced, “I give up.” What I gave up was posting status updates or comments and “likes” concerning other people’s posts. (How hard is it to click “Like?”) I chose to become one of what I’m told some folks refer to as Facebook “lurkers.” Hence, I’ve spent the last few days lurking, posting the occasional link but refraining from offering quotes, observations, or even cute kitty pictures (metaphorically speaking, of course). Trouble is, I like doing those things. I realized this morning I was reverting to my past victim mentality of “I’ll show you, I’ll hurt myself.”
Moreover, while I agree that love (what early Christians named agape, but also eros) is the answer, the means to accomplish this end is to communicate in one way or another with one another. Facebook is one of those ways.
Going beyond Facebook and borrowing a term from my favorite Martian, the ultimate goal of communication is to grok one another. Robert A. Heinlein coined the term “grok” in his 1961 science-fiction classic Stranger in a Strange Land. According to Wikipedia, it is a Martian expression that can not be defined in Earthling terms, but can be associated with various literal meanings such as “water”, “to drink”, “life”, or “to live”, and has a much more profound figurative meaning that is hard for terrestrial culture to understand because of its assumption of a singular reality. From the novel:
Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines grok as “to understand intuitively or by empathy; to establish rapport with” and “to empathise or communicate sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment.” I think of grokking as sentience which I believe is shared with everyone and everything on this earth as well as Earth itself, as explained by the Gaia principle.
While status updates and all will probably never rise to the level of grok, Facebook is a fine vehicle for communication. So, I’m back because it seems “meet, right, and salutary” to be so.
Oh, and for those of you who read this to the end, a treat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4Mnext post: Happy Bloomsday
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